TDF Team News: Crash Costs Yates Stage Win

A late crash shatters stage 16 hopes for Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) on stage 16 of the Tour de France

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TDF Team News: Crash Costs Yates Stage Win

The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider attacked with three kilometres remaining on the final climb and led by 25 seconds over the summit before sliding out on a damp corner with five kilometres remaining. The 25-year-old was quickly back on his feet, only to have eventual stage winner Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep Floors) pass him as he remounted. Battling on bravely, he claimed third from the chase just 15 seconds adrift.

Pic: Getty Images

With the climbing due at the end of the day’s proceedings, a big fight to make the break was expected and transpired. Once again South African champion Daryl Impey was in the thick of the action, first in a smaller group and then in a larger group of 28-riders that also featured Yates. After over 100km of racing a huge move of 44-riders finally formed the ‘break’, albeit more like a mini peloton. Yates was once again present, this time with road captain Mathew Hayman for company.

The lead group worked together until the start of the tough finale, that featured three successive climbs, before they started attacking each other. Hayman lost touch on the first of the climbs, whilst the pace increased further on the penultimate climb and saw Yates crest the top in the front group of nine riders. The group grew to 17 in the valley as they approached the final climb and with over 12 minutes on the peloton, it was clear the winner was coming from within.
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The lead group quickly dwindled on the final climb as fresh attacks began. Yates bridged across to the earlier moves and led with a group of six riders into the final four kilometres before attacking solo shortly after. With a 25 second lead over the top, Yates began the 10km descent to the finish line. About halfway down, disaster struck as he slipped out on a corner, crashing heavily and allowing Alaphilippe, who was in hot pursuit, to pass.

Yates regathered and remounted quickly but the damage was done as he crossed the line in a small group of four riders for third position. Initial assessment by the team doctor did not show any major injuries but the Criterium du Dauphine stage winner lost a lot of skin on his left side and will be assessed overnight.
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Adam Yates: “It’s just one of those things. I’ve taken more risks on more technical descents before and never had any problems. We can’t recon all of these stages and you don’t know what’s coming up on some of these corners, but it must have been a bit damp and I came down and that’s all there is to it. My morale is pretty damaged right now. When you come so close to winning a stage of the Tour it’s devastating, not just for me but for the team. We’ve been working at these stages, trying to do something and when you come that close it’s disappointing”.

“He (Alaphilippe) is pretty good, isn’t he? I have raced him since we were back in under-23 and I know how good he is. But I had a healthy lead and I am pretty confident on the descent myself but it’s one of those things, you miss one corner and go down. It was the place I chose to (attack). You pick your moment and I picked that one. I could see everyone was hurting little bit”.

“We have a short stage tomorrow and shorter stages are my favourite. Today was pretty long at 220km and tomorrow is 65km, so beautiful.”

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